Chris Shaw is the Giants' most advanced position prospect. He led all of the their minor leaguers in home runs (24), extra-base hits (60), RBIs (79), slugging (.525) and OPS (.871) while splitting 2017 between Double-A and Triple-A.Despite that success, Shaw still has plenty to work on in the Arizona
Chris Shaw is the Giants' most advanced position prospect. He led all of the their minor leaguers in home runs (24), extra-base hits (60), RBIs (79), slugging (.525) and OPS (.871) while splitting 2017 between Double-A and Triple-A.
Despite that success, Shaw still has plenty to work on in the Arizona Fall League. He said he was excited to return to Scottsdale, which is also San Francisco's Spring Training base, to play for the Scorpions.
• Giants' Top 30 Prospects list
"It's a tremendous honor to come play in this league," Shaw said. "It's extremely prestigious and it's a great opportunity to come out here and work on what are going to be the separating factors to allow me to get to the big leagues."
Shaw, 23, was the best college power hitter available in the 2015 Draft. He led the Cape Cod League with eight homers the previous summer and topped the short-season Northwest League with 12 in his pro debut after signing for $1.4 million as a first-round pick out of Boston College. His 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame gives the left-handed hitter considerable strength and leverage, producing power to all fields.
He batted a combined .292/.346/.525 this year, solving Double-A after struggling at that level in the second half of 2016, then continued to thrive in Triple-A. While he said he feels good about the numbers he posted, he would like to develop more patience at the plate. He walked 18 times versus 26 strikeouts in 37 games at Double-A Richmond but had just 20 walks while whiffing 106 times in 88 contests at Triple-A Sacramento.
"I had a really good walk-to-strikeout ratio while I was in Richmond," Shaw said. "Then I think getting up to a better hitting league, I got a little more aggressive because I felt I could drive the ball out of the park a little easier. Playing in Richmond, it's such a big yard, I was a lot more patient.
"I think that's something as a hitter, getting older and more mature, you start to realize when to pick your spots and when to really hone in on a pitch you can drive, versus swinging at a curveball early in the count that's a ball for a strike, and then you're ruining your count for that at-bat. That's definitely something I want to work on in the Fall League."
After spending most of his college career in right field, Shaw played exclusively at first base in his first two pro seasons. Because the Giants have Brandon Belt signed through 2021, they moved Shaw to left field this year. Though his well below-average speed limits his range, he has some surprising athleticism for his size and possesses solid strength.
His outfield defense remains a work in progress, but Shaw said he thinks he can handle left field at the big league level. He'll use his AFL time to continue to improve.
"Just getting more comfortable in left field and getting more acclimated to the routes I have to take," he said. "Thinking ahead, count, batter, all that type of stuff that's going to help me get an edge because I'm not the fastest guy out there. But there's no reason I can't be a smart outfielder. ... The way they explained it to me, coming out here is a chance to really hone in and get better defensively."
Giants hitters in the Fall League
Steven Duggar, OF (Giants' No. 7 prospect)
Aramis Garcia, C (No. 8)
A 2015 sixth-round pick out of Clemson, Duggar is one of the best all-around prospects in San Francisco's system, featuring hitting ability, raw power, well above-average speed, center-field chops and a strong arm. Hampered by forearm and hamstring injuries this year, he batted .262/.365/.445 with six homers and 10 steals in 44 games, mostly in high Class A.
Garcia, who hit .191/.304/.277 for Scottsdale last fall, is back with the Scorpions and has a chance to contribute on both sides of the ball. The 2014 second-rounder from Florida International is improving defensively and batted .274/.323/.485 with 17 homers in 103 games between high Class A and Double-A.
Giants pitchers in the Fall League
Tyler Beede, RHP (No. 3)
Tyler Cyr, RHP
Joan Gregorio, RHP (No. 12)
D.J. Snelten, LHP
Beede has yet to report to the Scorpions as he continues his recovery from a late-season groin injury. A Vanderbilt product taken with the 14th overall choice in 2014, he can show a plus fastball and changeup at times but struggled in Triple-A, going 6-7 with a 4.79 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 109 innings over 19 starts.
Cyr has advanced quickly since signing as a 10th-rounder out of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in 2015. Primarily using a fastball that sits at 92-94 mph and a curveball, he recorded 18 saves and a 2.19 ERA in Double-A while fanning 57 in 49 1/3 innings.
Gregorio might have joined the Giants this summer if he hadn't been issued a season-ending suspension on July 1 after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The 6-foot-7 Dominican has a 91-96 mph fastball with angle and plane and flashes a solid slider. He went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 74 innings over 13 Triple-A starts.
A 2013 ninth-rounder from Minnesota, Snelten has an 89-93 mph fastball and an effective changeup. He's coming off his best season, having gone 8-1 with a 2.20 ERA and a 71/23 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.